Category Archives: JPMorgan Chase

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Novogratz Galaxy to Launch Crypto Options Contracts Trading


Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital is planning to launch crypto options contracts trading joining the current market trend in moving towards derivatives trading.

With more institution investment interest in cryptocurrency, Galaxy Digital has said that it is responding to inquiries from both crypto and non-crypto firms in hedging against crypto assets volatility, often a barrier to new companies joining the market.

In finance, an option is a contract which gives the buyer (the owner or holder of the option) the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset or instrument at a specified strike price prior to or on a specified date, depending on the form of the option.

An encouraging word from Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) for the markets is that the long-awaited interest in institutional investors appears to be gaining ground; an observation also shared by JPMorgan Chase (JPM) executive Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou who said that such investment was beginning to impact on Bitcoin markets. Bitcoin futures are standardized contracts that bind a party to buy or sell Bitcoin at a predetermined date.

Yoshi Nakamura, global head of business development at Galaxy Digital said that some recent interest in this type of trading is coming from mining firms and from lenders although he admits the move into crypto options contracts trading is still relatively new.

BTC futures traded at around USD 10,000 yesterday on the CME showing such trading is on the up. Akuna Capital and Cumberland, the Chicago-based cryptocurrency trading unit of DRW Holdings LLC, are other companies currently supported by over-the-counter (OTC) trading. is committed to unbiased news and upholding journalistic codes of ethics. For more information please read our Editorial Policy here.

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Interest in CME Bitcoin Futures Reach All-Time High

Interest in CME Bitcoin Futures Reach All-Time High

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) data shows that the interest in Bitcoin futures trading is now at an all-time peak as Bitcoin enjoys a renewed interest in the markets.

The Twitter post by CME revealed this week that interest has peaked with an all-time high of 5,311 contracts totaling 26,555 BTC, or approximately USD 247 million at press time. Bitcoin is currently trading at USD 9,292.60.

An encouraging word from CME for the markets is that the long await interest in institutional investors appears to be gaining ground; an observation also shared by JPMorgan Chase (JPM) executive Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou who said that such investment was beginning to impact on Bitcoin markets.

Facebook’s announcement of its own cryptocurrency development has the potential to boost market interest and has had major news coverage this week. Many analysts are reporting that Libra Coin coverage is pushing Bitcoin’s current bull run, although legislators in Washington have expressed that they are ready to step in and regulate the social media giant prior to any product launch.

From next week, Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) will be the only US regulated platform issuing Bitcoin futures but London broker TP ICAP has said that it will be trading cash-settled contracts shopped on that platform with the Bitcoin derivatives market also gaining interest globally.

Bitcoin futures are standardized contracts that bind a party to buy or sell Bitcoin at a predetermined date.


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Major Banks at US Congress Meeting Express Guarded But Tolerant Views on Crypto

Major Banks at US Congress Meeting Express Guarded But Tolerant Views on Crypto

Bank CEOs assembled before the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on 10 April to give their spin on banking’s status quo following the 2008 financial crisis, including the position of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

Rep. Warren Davidson’s view was that blockchain had found its place in addressing cybersecurity and transforming outmoded financial systems, but felt that regulation was still dragging behind other jurisdictions where progressive measures were being introduced to facilitate the blockchain industry.

A less accusative view than expected was expressed by Jamie Dimon. The chairman and CEO of banking giant JPMorgan Chase suggested that the bank was “supportive of cryptocurrencies as long as they are properly controlled and regulated”. It was noted that Dimon was one one of cryptocurrencies greatest detractors at one time and with the recent issuance by JPMorgan of its JPM coin showed a markedly different view, given prior comments elsewhere. Dimon’s latest spin is that blockchain can work over time, although he still felt that there was “no value behind it (cryptocurrency)” other than what the next person pays.

JPM Coin is the first dollar-backed cryptocurrency from a major bank. It was announced by JP Morgan Chase in February, 2019 as an institution-to-institution service. A permissioned blockchain variant of Ethereum called Quorum is used as the distributed ledger platform.

The Chairman and CEO of the Bank of New York Mellon, Charles Scharf, voiced a guarded approach regarding cryptocurrency’s position in the global financial system, suggesting:

“Cryptocurrencies are very early in their existence. They are not significant today to speak of in terms of being used as a real currency to move value, and so we are actively thinking about what we want to do. One of the biggest issues that we have relates to any money laundering and KYC.”


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Monero Devs: Privacy in Bitcoin “A Fundamental Human Right”

Monero Devs: Privacy in Bitcoin

The issue of privacy has been one issue that has frustrated cryptocurrency detractors over the years, claiming that such a factor simply encourages illegal activity and tax evasion, but strong advocates of Bitcoin claim it to be simply an inalienable right and one of the advantages of decentralization.

One of the most vocal mainstream critics of Bitcoin has been JPMorgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon, who has frequently asked for more government intervention in the regulation of cryptocurrencies, subscribing to one argument that such assets are easily concealed from taxation.

Riccardo Spagni and Cayle Sharrock, who are currently involved in projects related to the privacy-focused Monero altcoin disagree with this view, arguing that privacy is not only here, but should be here to stay when it comes to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero. Spagni hopes that the private cryptocurrency space will become the norm in the years to come. He commented:

“Between Bitcoin having enhanced privacy through something like Lightning and TumbleBit, between Monero and the work being done on ZK-STARKs by Starkware, between Grin and Beam and Tari [working on MimbleWimble]… I’m hoping that it’s just going to force a reckoning where everyone will have to go: ‘Okay, privacy is here. It’s accessible. Strong privacy is here.’”

Spagni draws parallels to the war on certain drugs which consume lawmakers energy only to be eventually legalized such as the case in Canada in 2018. People will use cryptocurrencies, claims Spagni, whatever regulation comes into play; a fact which is borne out by numerous prohibitive crypto jurisdictions around the globe, many of which have vibrant crypto communities despite government clampdowns.

There is no doubt that cryptocurrencies need rules and standards, and clearly, there are major players in the industry such as Gemini’s Winklevoss Twins who, despite industry criticism, are prepared to make a stand for considered and sensible legislation of the space, preferably through bodies within the industry itself.

“Over time, they’ll start to realize that actually, you can still do proper law enforcement without needing to see everyone’s transactions,” added Spagni. “You can still do proper tax collecting without needing to see into everyone’s bank account.”


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Bitcoin Influencers’ Payment Ideas Get Twitter Buzzing

Bitcoin influencers Jimmy Song and Tony Vays opened up a can of worms recently when chatting on Twitter about Bitcoin payment methods, provoking an all-in scenario for followers.

Jimmy Song, an instructor at Programming Blockchain LLC and Bitcoin educator/developer was sharing his opinion about using Bitcoin as a payment method with Bitcoin and Blockchain Researcher Tone Vays, on Twitter. The argument was posed by Song that one could spend money using a credit card whilst staying in credit and then pay the monthly bill with Bitcoin. His tweet suggested:

“If you want to use Bitcoin as a method of payment, this strategy is more rational and convenient than doing lots of on-chain tx’s:

  1. Spend with your credit card with no debt on it.
  2. When your credit card bill comes, sell just enough bitcoin to pay the bill.”

This provoked the response by Jackson Palmer, Founder of Dogecoin, who joined the thread to tweet that there was a missing third step to the Song scenario to avoid incurring credit card debt. He suggested that one could calculate the capital gain/loss tax on the sale of Bitcoin to USD to pay off the credit card.

Bitcoin Cash follower, Elliot, suggested, “That’s right folks. BTC supporters tell you to sell your Bitcoin back to fiat. BCH supporters say you must use bitcoin as CASH. It is peer to peer electronic cash. 1 bit @tipprbot” to which blockchain enthusiast Jan Klosowski responded.

“People will use Bitcoin because it’s profitable. Not for ideological reasons.”

Tone Vays worked on Wall Street for almost 10 years starting as a Risk Analyst at Bear Stearns and later becoming a VP at JP Morgan Chase in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. His feeling was that Song’s idea was feasible from a consumer standpoint and suggested that in 2014 he had spoken about how misusing Bitcoin could affect the entire ecosystem quite negatively.

When asked why Vays, a prolific trader as well as an educator, diversified his trading to incorporate traditional markets, he responded:

“Because all of my videos are on my love of Bitcoin, my explanations of blockchain, and covering blockchain news. I do all of this because you can’t monetize that content. So, coming to conferences and speaking is so that I can spread the knowledge of Bitcoin, but I make money from what I do best, which is trading.”

He suggested that traditional markets offered a better return on his investments.

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Could Wall Street Banks Become Crypto Custody Specialists?

Wall Street banks are slowly beginning to consider crypto custody as another mainstream service.

This, despite the occasional dig at crypto from the big players on Wall Street such as Goldman Sachs recent “cryptocurrency mania” comment last week citing it as one of the top risks for the market, even though the very same bank is dipping into Bitcoin derivatives on behalf of its fund manager clients.

The above service offered by Goldman Sachs may well be client-driven but behind the usual anti-crypto spin, a different picture can be detected after a bit of surface scratching. The Financial Times suggests that “trendy young crypto-types” are the new kids on the Wall Street financial block, although what crypto-related products will come from these young brains is still to be revealed. However, the trend is very much toward research and crypto is the name on the tip of everyone’s tongues.

Analysts are suggesting that the new frontier on Wall Street could well be cryptocurrency assets custody; looking after customer’s cryptocurrency funds. At the back of this are fees, another way the bank can make money out of cryptocurrency without dabbling themselves. In this way, billions of dollars held in custody by the banks can be another payday for the big names on Wall Street.

Recent Bitcoin News reports have illustrated some of the problems of safe storage of cryptocurrency assets, which vary in degrees of complexity from multiple vaults with random back up keys to Swiss Bunkers carved into the sides of mountains. Thus, there is clearly scope for bank intervention on behalf of clients.

Reportedly, forerunners in this new race are New York City-based ItBit, Gemini and more lately Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan now lining up to offer their services. Others are Japanese broker Nomara and notably the Swiss Stock Exchange part-owned by the 130-bank SIX group conglomerate.

Sam Mcingvale, San Francisco-based head of Coinbase Custody suggest that his company is joining the custody fray with plans to cold-store USD 5 billion of institutional crypto assets by the end 2018. Customers need these services, he argues:

“People were saying: “Hey, we’re already holding Bitcoin with you, we trust you, but we need more; we need a regulatory component, we need monthly statements, we need a different type of insurance.”


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UK Bank Barclays Could Be Tapping into Crypto

It has been reported that UK bank Barclays has been looking into the possibility of opening a trading desk.

Three months is a long time in cryptocurrency circles. Bitcoin News ran a story in May suggesting that the bank had no such plans and would continue to monitor clients. Barclays spokesman Andrew Smith in an emailed statement in April commented:

“We constantly monitor developments in the digital currency space and will continue to have a dialogue with our clients on their needs and intentions in this market.”

Cryptocurrencies presented a “real challenge” earlier in the year for Barclays CEO Jes Stately who was said to have suggested at a shareholder’s questions session:

“…on the one hand, there is the innovative side of it and wanting to stay in the forefront of technology’s improvement in finance… On the other side of it, there is the possibility of cryptocurrencies being used for activities that the bank wants to have no part of.”

Barclays may still not want to have a part in these “activities” but there is activity happening at the bank, according to reports. The former head of trading at Barclays has a new position, now entitled ‘Head of Digital Assets Project: Barclays Investment Bank’, while the director of oil options trading at the bank, Matthieu Jobbe Duval, is now ‘Digital Assets trading – Consultant at Barclays’.

The implications are clear if these titles represent anything, and illustrates that Barclays has moved on since the May statements. Duval suggests that Barclays:

“Hired him to produce a business plan for integrating a digital assets trading desk into [the bank’s] markets business revenue opportunity, competitive landscape, budgeting and planning for delivery, IT buildout, capital and balance sheet impact.”

Business Insider, who ran the original story, said that a bank representative denied that any such project existed and crypto trading was not planned.

Other major banks Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase have admitted to some cryptocurrency interest, with Goldman soon to open a desk after client pressure and JP Morgan at least building a team with boss Jamie Dimon almost conciliatory after scathing crypto comments last year.


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JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon Backtracks on Crytpo Comments, Backs Blockchain

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has stated in a recent interview that he “probably shouldn’t say any more about cryptocurrency“.

Dimon was quizzed in an interview with the Harvard Business Review in the latest issue about what his current views on cryptocurrency were; a reasonable enough question to ask, given some of his past scathing statements about the technology.

Just to revisit some of these notable moments where the CEO of the largest bank in the US expressed himself without any attempt at holding back. Past tirades against Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies included descriptions of “fraud”, “worse than tulips” and suggestions that he’d fire any JPMorgan trader trading in Bitcoin “in a second”, citing crypto as “stupid” and “dangerous”. His finest hour came with this statement:

“If you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea or a bunch of parts like that, or if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that, you are better off doing it in Bitcoin than US dollars. So there may be a market for that, but it’d be a limited market.”

So why then should he not “say any more about cryptocurrency”, having said so much already? He did speak about cryptocurrency in January of this year and he’d clearly cooled, going for the commonly-used approach used by Bitcoin detractors, of separating crypto from the technology behind it. Talking to Bloomberg, he commented:

“The blockchain is real. You can have crypto yen and dollars and stuff like that. ICOs you have to look at individually. The Bitcoin to me was always what the governments are gonna feel about Bitcoin as it gets really big, and I just have a different opinion than other people. I’m not interested that much in the subject at all.”

Quite a different approach. So between January and August of this year, has his stance warmed even further, or possibly less cooled, towards a subject that in his own words he’s “not interested in? He said in his most recent interview:

“I probably shouldn’t say any more about cryptocurrency. But it’s not the same as gold or fiat currencies. Those are supported by law, police, courts. They’re not replicable, and there are strictures on them. Blockchain, on the other hand, is real. We’re testing it and will use it for a whole lot of things.”

Clearly the same stance as earlier in the year, but none of the previous venom of earlier statements that gained Dimon some unwanted notoriety from the cryptocurrency community at the time.

Some of his former executives clearly see things a different way. Daniel Masters, ex-chief of JPMorgan’s global energy trading has said that cryptocurrencies could no longer be ignored by central banks and governments. Amber Baldet, former head of the blockchain arm at Chase has suggested that banks trading in cryptocurrencies is imminent.

Perhaps the reason why so many of JPMorgan employees such as Baldet are creating their own startups is simply that they can see the potential for both blockchain and cryptocurrency in a future financial system, something that their old boss is still unable to do.


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Gallery Sees Crypto Payments Boost Sales by 427%

An online sales art gallery has seen its sales leap by 427% after accepting cryptocurrency payments three months ago, writes the Daily Hodl.

Lynx Art Collection, which sells a range of quirky and unusual pieces from embossed small panels to Bitcoin beach towels, says that it has seen its sales rocket since selling its first poster back in 2012. The site now takes an extraordinarily broad range of crypto payments amounting to 725 cryptocurrencies. Incredibly, the company still feels it would like to add more coins to its list of payment options.

The site has linked up with Coinbase Commerce in order to take the major currencies. Nano payment is also available by using QR scanning for quick purchases.

Perhaps the success of Lynx shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. There is now a kind of anti-financial- establishment trend which provokes a need to purchase Bitcoin-related pieces, however kitsch some of them might be (remember, the art is in the eye of the beholder). When JPMorgan Chase & Co Chairman Jamie Dimon recently called crypto a”“terrible store of value”, artist ‘cryptograffiti’ decided to produce his own artistic version of the description, as reported in Bitcoin News.

Terrible Store of Value’ is a portrait of a “disintegrating” Dimon – “mirroring the public’s trust toward traditional banking institutions”, according to cryptograffiti’s website – executed on a bank deposit box that’s connected to a Bitcoin wallet, reports Bloomberg. The piece eventually sold for GBP 33,000.

Add to this the artist Kevin Abosch of Yellow Lambo fame imprinting 100 physical artworks with the IAMA contract address on the Ethereum blockchain “corresponding to the creation” of 10 million virtual works titled ‘IAMA Coin’…using his own blood to ensure each coin literally was a piece of the artist as Abosch indicated.

If this might not be to the buyer’s taste, Andy Warhol may be, or perhaps a watercolor. Whatever one’s taste, cryptocurrency is becoming an increasingly popular payment method for art investors, and now that blockchain is being adopted to solve problems over copyright and provenance issues, it looks like crypto and art have made a match.


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Goldman Sachs Announces Trading of Bitcoin Futures

Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs has announced it has plans to use its own money to trade in Bitcoin futures, after a decision by the investment bank’s board of directors, according to the New York Times.

This is a major turn in direction, given the bank’s often scathing remarks about the validity of cryptocurrency. It decided on the turnaround after requests from its customers who wanted to trade in Bitcoin.

Goldman Sachs will begin using its own money to trade Bitcoin futures contracts on behalf of clients in the next few weeks, although an exact date has not been set. It will trade using its own creation, known as a non-deliverable forward.

Justin Schmidt, its newly-appointed digital asset trader, wants to trade ‘physical’ Bitcoin, but the bank will need to gain approval from the Federal Reserve before it can implement its trading desk. The New York Times reports that one issue which will need resolving is to find a way to address the risk of hacking, a problem that has befallen other Bitcoin exchanges.

According to Schmidt, the current standards for Wall Street digital currency trading as yet have not been met. Also, it does not appear that the bank is embracing the new project with huge enthusiasm, perhaps a result of Wall Street’s past skepticism. Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase once called Bitcoin a “fraud” and many banks have referred to a Bitcoin speculative “bubble”.

However, Goldman Sachs executive Rana Yared concluding that Bitcoin was not a fraud, saying she was clear about what the bank was doing:

“I would not describe myself as a true believer who wakes up thinking Bitcoin will take over the world,” Yared said. “For almost every person involved, there has been personal skepticism brought to the table.”

Goldman Sachs has said that it has no plans to initially buy and sell Bitcoin itself but a team is looking into the possibility providing it can gain regulatory approval and then work out a plan for eliminating risk. There is a general sense that the move by the bank may lend more legitimacy to cryptocurrency as a tradeable asset.

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